Pinky Pie

The new me & Me

Posted on: December 7, 2009

In my last post, I suggested that I would soon write about the biggest change in me since diagnosis. Here are some choices:

  1. I know longer need to wear a bra.
  2. I seem to be more positive and less the eternal pessimist that I’ve called myself in the past.
  3. I write a blog.
  4. I no longer drink Diet Dr Pepper.
  5. All of the above.

In 2005, I found a real bargain on Diet Dr Pepper. It's long, long gone.

If you answered all the above, you are right. But I want to talk about is the biggest change: no longer drinking Dr Pepper. If you think that is not a major change, you don’t know me.

I started drinking Dr Pepper when I was a little girl. I don’t know when exactly, but I do remember watching Westerns on TV, pretending to be a cowgirl drinking shots of whisky with a shot glass. It may or may not have been Dr Pepper, but it certainly wasn’t whisky. And now that I’ve seen the first season of the HBO show, Deadwood, I have a different image for women in saloons.

In my teens, I was drinking Dr Pepper so  frequently that my mother decided that it was the cause of my stomachaches. She insisted I quit. I did for a while, but was one of those sneaky kids who did something wrong behind her back. In this case, my crime was going to convenience stores and buying a Dr Pepper. (Sorry, Mom) And we worry about young people today.

In terms of my drinking, I was like the reporter in one of those old newspaper movies who always had a cigarette in his mouth. In one of those movies, The Front Page, or His Girl Friday.  a reporter commands: “Cigarette me,” as he wrote a story on deadline. He was too busy to light it himself.

I never smoked – except for a few cigarettes when I was about 15 or 16 on a bicycle trip through England. But I never liked it and now I consider smoking to be yuck.

Dr Pepper was my cigarette. I could have said, “Dr Pepper me.”

Frankly, I drank it from the moment I woke up until about 6 p.m. when I realized I would not be able to sleep at night if I continued. I quit several times only to return to my addiction – and it really was an addiction.

A long time ago we went to my cousins’ home for Passover in Washington, D.C Art and Edie really keep Kosher for Passover so anything we would bring in the house would be chomentz – not Kosher for Passover unless it was especially produced for Passover.

We left it all, including Dr Pepper, in our minivan, which we dubbed “the chomentz mobile.”

One day while we were in the DC area, we went to Mount Vernon as a side trip. On the way back, Michael, then just a very little guy, fell asleep in the car. Being the saint that I am I agreed to stay in the vehicle with him while he slept.

What makes the story great is that my cousin happened to come out and saw me in the driveway, drinking a Diet Dr Pepper in the minivan while Michael slept. It felt exactly like I had snuck out for cigarette.

I have a Diet Dr. Pepper can framed and behind glass with the instructions, “In case of emergency, break glass.” In my office is a lamp made from a Diet Dr Pepper bottle and can. Both were acquired via eBay.

I also have an old Dr Pepper advertising thermometer and I used to have a very old bottle and leather carrier for a six-pack of bottles, but somehow it got lost or broken.

In college, I used to write fan letters to Dr Pepper and heard back from the head of communications or public relations.

Yes, you can see that I’ve had an affinity to the drink all my life.

So why have I given it up? It doesn’t taste good. I just haven’t wanted it. Of course, my taste buds are pretty much gone from chemotherapy. Nothing tastes good.

There may have been a benefit to my giving up DP – my only source of caffeine. My blood pressure was 110 over 60-something on Friday. It had been inching up to the point where I was wondering if I would soon need medication.Go figure.  Gayda made the suggestion that my no longer drinking Dr Pepper may have been the reason it is lower.

Once I’m done with chemo and my taste buds are back, I hope I don’t fall off the wagon again.

Over Thanksgiving, Maggie’s husband was stunned to open our refrigerator and find no Dr Peppers in there. He just couldn’t believe it.

I’m thinking the DP company would like me back. On August 12, 2009, DP stock was selling for $23.52 a share. It rose to $27.48, the day I started chemotherapy when I was still drinking it. But Friday, DP stock was down to $26.80. I have been off it for more than two months now.

Apparently, one person can make a difference.


1 Response to "The new me & Me"

Hi Sue,
Just wanted to let you know I am keeping up with your treatment via your blog. Glad to hear your kids were home for Thanksgiving and wish you a rapid recovery from the chemotherapy.

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